Published: Fri, February 26, 2021
Science | By

EU Leaders Discuss Vaccine Certificates

EU Leaders Discuss Vaccine Certificates

"We need more time to come to a common line".

It was made clear though that these certificates will not be granted to people who got infected but only to people who got vaccinated with EU-approved jabs.

Some governments, like Greece and Spain, are pushing for a quick adoption of an EU-wide certificate for those already inoculated so that people can travel again.

However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel seemed having warmed up about the idea.

"We can be confident that this is absolutely the right strategy to use for this vaccine", said Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford.

However, she added that for now a vaccination certificate is not a priority considering the low level of vaccination of the population. "The European Council will revert to this matter", President Charles Michel said.

MINISTER of Health Renward Wells says the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be in the country by the end of this week.

Responding to news of AZ's production issues, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told the German publication Augsburger Allgemeine that the "vaccine manufacturers are our partners in this pandemic and they have also never faced such a challenge", as quoted by AFP.

"We have to prepare for a situation where we have to continuously vaccinate for a longer period of time, maybe over years, due to new coronavirus variants, akin to the situation we know from the flu", Merkel said.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted that the earlier decisions are made the better for the European Union, otherwise the private sector will inevitably move in this direction. It has already reached a bilateral travel agreement with Israel, which has led the world with its vaccination campaign.


EURACTIV.com has also learnt that a number of countries lashed out against the pharma industry for the delays of the vaccines' deliveries.

The U.S. has relied exclusively on vaccines made by its own pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer and Moderna.

Poland was among the most furious countries.

Before the summit, Bulgaria's Health Minister Kostadin Angelov sent an aggressive letter to British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca.

Covax, a global mechanism for developing, manufacturing and procuring Covid-19 vaccines and supply member countries, is expected to provide Vietnam with another 4.9 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in the first half of this year.

The current report also comes as AstraZeneca's contract with the European Union, leaked last week by Italian public broadcaster RAI, revealed the company had committed to delivering between 30 million and 40 million doses to the European Union at the end of 2020, 80 million to 100 million doses by the end of the first quarter of 2021, and the total 300 million doses by the end of June. "As of today, the robust data that we can really stand behind come from the 21-day data", he said.

The EU has also seen bottlenecks in the deliveries of the shots developed by BioNtech-Pfizer and Moderna - the only other shots now approved by the EU's drug regulator.

On Wednesday, the UAE reported a total of 3,005 Covid-19 cases.

As AstraZeneca works to fulfill its order in Europe, an executive this week told Congress the company could have 50 million doses ready by April.

Last week, pharmaceutical firm Janssen also applied for conditional authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine, which is being developed by United States firm Johnson & Johnson.

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